03 July 2009

angels and weirdness

That title reminds me of the quote about Russia being the land of heroes and madmen.

First, let us pause for a moment and give thanks for Barbara Parker. In the midst of e-mails like this from unhelpful colleagues (I suspect they're subordinates with little power and unhappy personal lives.) of hers:

I did not respond to your first email The instructions you received initially were incorrect. You cannot fax your request, it must be mailed and have the original signature. There are no exceptions to this requirement in the Ohio Administrative Code.

Barbara Parker sent me this:
I'm acknowledging receipt of your faxed request for searches of Ohio's Central Registry on Child Abuse & Neglect for your name. Your request included all appropriate documentation to proceed with searches, except one: our policies require that your original signature must be on file with our office.

I can relax the requirement somewhat if you are able to scan a document containing your original signature and return it to me as an e-mail attachment. You can use the document you faxed to me (there is no need to include the IDs) or you can write a statement, "Please conduct a search of the central registry for my name," and sign it.

Otherwise, we will need to obtain this information through U.S. mail, Fed Ex or other delivery service.

Please let me know if there are any questions. I'll do my best to accommodate your request!

Thank you!
This is the happy ending to weeks of misinformation and rude bureaucrats. I scanned her the signature last night and she's doing the search early next week. This, and my FBI prints, which should also be in early next week, are all we need to update my homestudy!

(Christie Llyod, who used to work at the embassy in Moscow was another angel-in-bureaucrat's clothing. She helped me out immeasurably three years ago...with just a little common sense. She was amazed that I, and another pre-adoptive family she'd recently helped, were so grateful for what, to her, was a little thing. Little things are important.)

Now we just need to sort out the visa issue. "Just".

Frankly, I am not too bothered by this. I need to convince my agency to go ahead and submit the paperwork for a court date as is. If USCIS Moscow won't give me a visa, I'd think I could just take Sasha home to St. P while things (new hs, new I-600A, new I-717H) get sorted. Of course, that's a little common sensical of me. Danger, danger.

I should be out paper-gathering for that visa appeal, but woke up with two three-inch red streaks on my shoulder. It looked like traveling poison from a bite. It looked like this:

So you got a post, instead. Maybe two. There's no bite, no rash. I didn't eat anything new. It doesn't itch or burn or feel warm to the touch. It's not changing size (that's what the black marks are for). But, it's red and it's weird. An ache is spreading and I'm dizzy. And WebMD (always a little alarmist) says I should seek immediate medical attention. So, rather than run around the city, I'm headed to a new doctor this afternoon. We'll see how that goes.

Exciting stuff, eh?

eta: Having been seen by a gp (American clinic), a neurologist, and been x-rayed, the diagnosis is a disease called...

Chronic Pain in the Neck.

Seriozna. Seriously. It is exacerbated by stress and lack of sleep. The treatment includes (basically) an injection (ya nehachoo-I don't want), advil, tylenol, flex-all and massage. Also, less stress and more sleep. (Say what you will about Russian doctors, this neurologist was GOOD!)

And the marks...well...by the time the doctor saw them they were less red, more brownish and more diffused. Diagnosis: too heavy shopping bags carried on that shoulder. (It was only groceries.)

So I'm going to take some advil and a nap. And check into delivery options for my upcoming big purchases.


Holly said...

While you are in the thick of it and stressed by completing these requirements, try to remember that these are the final steps in realizing your dream. Soon, she'll be home and it will all fade away.\

Two odd little facts: my word verification to post this comment is, "mysin". Weird. And secondly, Stephen Fry is in St. Petersburg right now. I'm jealous you're in the same place that he is. And yes, I just got my geek on.

Deb said...

Yeah I was going to say stress and all the shopping your doing!
Glad it's nothing serious though. Looks nasty.

So glad to hear that the clearance almost in the process of being complete.

Jenni said...

I've gotten those marks on my shoulder from carrying heavy bags too. Glad it wasn't anything serious.

As for bureaucrats, sometimes it seems they work harder at avoiding work than actually doing their job! Glad you found someone who was willing to use a little common sense and work for you!

Heidi said...

A little prayer of thanks being said for your helpers that were, actually, helpful!
Even before I got to your eta, i was thinking too much stress, bra strap prob's. HA! Hope the nap went well. Hard to do during this time... but get ALL you can.
I'm SO excited for you!
My word verification is "suporma" which I translate as "Support the new Mama!". :)
Many prayers being said for d2b!!!

julian said...

I am not understanding why there is a visa issue.Is it because you live in Russia?
I must be missing something..

Lindsay said...

Stress? In adoption? Surely not!

Hope you are feeling better soon and get all the paperwork stuff sorted so you can mentally relax at little.

Annie said...

Why are there always these mystery illnesses? I expect you read about my Zhenya's bizarre facial swelling. What the heck was THAT about? Out of the blue? Fortunately, I am not a worrier. Hope you aren't either. Checking with Web MD is no better than the "nurse lines" who could not tell you how to put a bandage on a scratch without concluding that you might well "have a doctor see it" as soon as possible. Lawsuits, I suppose. Right when what you really want is non-lawsuit-influenced advice!

Hope all is better by now.

Annie said...

Oh - and there is a specially nice place in heaven, I'm sure, for adoption angels. Mine is the wonderful woman in the Michigan Office of the Great Seal, who was always SO nice and helpful to me, and so genuinely sorry when something was amiss. God love her.